9.30.2009

Pasta with Walnut Sauce

Pasta with Walnut Sauce

Finally fresh walnuts have arrived at the green market. I got me a small bag full and went home to try this (long since bookmarked) recipe. The walnut sauce was yummy if a bit filling. Next time I would leave out the garlic as it quite dominated the flavour. I strongly recommend using a food processor. As I don't have one, I did the grinding by hand in a mortar. This takes some time and doesn't yield a uniform grain size.

Pasta with Walnut Sauce

Source: Outstanding In The Field by Jim Denevan

Ingredients:

1 cup fresh shelled walnuts (from about 7 ounces in the shell)
1/2 cup whole milk
2 cups cubed crustless fresh bread (2 ounces)
about 1/3 cup vegetable or chicken stock
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 clove garlic, pounded with a pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle (optional)
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound dried pasta, such as spaghetti or penne
parmesan cheese

Method:

Bring a small pot of water to a boil and add the walnuts. Cook for about 30 seconds, until the skins start to loosen. Drain and pick off as much skin as possible with your fingers, tweezers or a pin. (This can be done one day in advance.)
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, pour the milk over the bread and set aside. Transfer the walnuts to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until they resemble fine bread crumbs. Add the soaked bread and the milk and continue processing. Add the stock until the mixture loosens and looks like a thin hummus. (You may not need to add all of the stock.) Slowly add 3 Tbsp of olive oil in a steady stream. Bledn in the nutmeg, the garlic,if using and salt and pepper to taste.
Cook the pasta, drain, thereby reserving some of the cooking water. In a large bowl, toss pasta with sauce and add cooking water as necessary. Serve immediately.

2 comments:

Elle said...

Love walnut based recipes. This one looks particularly good for main dish enjoyment. Does the sauce become creamy or more the texture of pesto?

Andreas said...

@Elle: The sauce becomes creamy due to the milk-soaked, crust-less bread. Just make sure to grind the walnuts to a fine powder.